Appreciation Dinner Ends the Year in Seattle
Seattle, WA – The 8th Annual Appreciation Dinner was held on December 4th in the meeting hall of the Beacon United Methodist Church at 7301 Beacon Ave. South in Seattle. Eighty-seven persons attended all told, drawn from diverse portions of the Seattle area population.
The event’s success is attributable to the many hours of preparation by dedicated volunteer staff from the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – Washington, the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) of Washington, and the Seattle Family Church. Attendees ages ranged from a few months old to those in their nineties.
In preparation of the big gathering, Mrs. Noriko Fisher of the ACLC-WA rented the hall, hired caterers, the AV professional, and connected to and confirmed several persons to participate in the program. UPF-WA staff assisted with outreach by our staff including Ambassador For Peace Outreach Coordinator Mrs. Toshiko McCash. UPF-WA executive director, Mr. Ray McCready was the emcee and while Mrs. Yuko Faris, was in charge of the raffle drawing which is always a big hit, as well as other support. Members of the Seattle Family Church assisted with set-up, serving the meals and clean-up. The unity among members of these three organizations truly created the magic of the celebration.
During the program, Minister Gerhard Wiesinger of ACLC-WA gave the opening prayer. Other parts included a reading of the nativity story from the gospel of Luke which was delivered by Mrs. Margaret Shephard, songs by the Young-Once choir led by Mrs. Dollie Castillo, and Christmas Carols by the Seattle Bituin (Star) Lions Club, led by president Lion Efren Pascua. After a 3-minute video of the “Peace Starts With Me” Rally at the Madison Square Garden highlighting the 2000 Voice Choir, Rev. Donald Ward of the Daystar Baptist Church, who attended the event on July 15th gave a beautiful and uplifting testimony about his experience and the revelatory speech given my UPF Co-founder Dr. Hakja Han Moon. He was followed by another encouraging testimony of Rev. Donovan Rivers, who attended Dr. Moon’s recent rally of 80,000 people on the peaceful reunification of the Korea peninsula at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea on November 11th.
Mrs. Faris, dressed in an excellent Santa suit, conducted the first phase of the raffle, assisted by Mrs. Hiroko Sato of the Seattle Family church, in handing out the raffle prizes. This always carries some suspense and much joy for the lucky winners.
Following this, Ray McCready of Universal Peace Federation of WA showed a “year in review” slide show, highlighting the events UPF-WA led singly or jointly during the year. The programs completed include: 5 Peace Forum evening programs, an introductory program in Ferndale WA in February, the hosting of a Parents’ Day celebration on July 23rd , attended by over 100, and a program celebrating the UN International Day of Peace held jointly with the Women’s Federation for World Peace of WA, led by Mrs. Sarah Nishioka, on Sept. 21st.
After more raffle drawings, songs and a closing prayer, the group took a group photo to memorialize the day and bid everyone safe travels and a happy holiday season.
2018 promises more exciting events and opportunities to spread love and hope to the people of Seattle and the state of Washington as new programs and initiative will be introduced alongside the current local works for peace and development.
Contributed by: Ray McCready, Executive Director, UPF -Washington